A court ruling branding plans to grant approval for a controversial incinerator in Mallusk as “unlawful”, has been welcomed by local residents opposed to the project.
Community group NoArc21, established to contest arc21’s proposed 300,000 tonne waste incinerator at the Hightown Quarry site, won its judicial review legal challenge this week against planning permission for the facility, which was granted by the Department for Infrastructure in September 2017.
The court’s decision found that the DFI Permanent Secretary Peter May, did not have the appropriate lawful authority to issue the planning consent in the absence of a Minister in charge of the Department.
The decision effectively quashes the planning consent and marks a huge victory for the thousands of objectors to the £240million project.
Reacting to the judgement, Colin Buick, Chairperson of NoArc21, said: “We are delighted with this decision. This has been a community-based campaign run on a shoe-string budget by ordinary local people.
“We successfully argued that in the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive DFI Minister, or replacement NIO Direct Rule Minister, that the Permanent Secretary at DFI did not have lawful authority to issue the planning approval.
“We are very grateful to the judge and the court for their consideration and this decision.”
Following the court ruling, a spokesperson for arc21 stated: “arc21 is disappointed by today’s ruling.
“We will take time to consider the judgement in detail and consult with our stakeholders.”